Sunday, April 30, 2023

2022 Zenith Football

2022 Zenith:  Plenty of new football to show off in the last week with the NFL Draft occurring.  We'll keep the new football going with Zenith.  I don't remember 2020 and 2021 Zenith so this year's offering is my first look at Zenith.  Kick it off with Josh Allen.  Allen went 7th overall in the 2018 draft.  So many teams would like a redo with that draft.  Neither Allen, nor Lamar Jackson who wasn't picked to the end of the first round, would make it past the first two picks.
I'm okay with the design though it feels a bit goofy.  Can get pretty repetitive really quickly as well.  But I'm not complaining.  Just won't be a go to for me.  The base set is 200 cards with 100 of those being rookies.
Rookies have a drastically different design.  I like it.  Has a Donruss vibe to it.  Would have liked to see the team log to set it off though.
The backs are fine.  Won't win any awards but they're colorful and not unappealing.
Rookie Wave and Revolution inserts.  I'm good with both of these.  The wave thing is different but at least I get the wave reference here.  They used wave in one of Panini's other brands but with zero context making it confusing.
I have another pack of these I'll show off someday but I don't know if I'll pick up more of this one.  Just doesn't stand out enough to me and there are way too many other options on the shelf right now.
30 – Total Cards
7 – RC
3 – Red Zone Parallels
1 – Revolution
1 – Rookie Wave

Saturday, April 29, 2023

2022 Donruss Football

2022 Donruss Football:  Dreams start this week with the 2023 NFL draft.  This is my first look at 2022 Donruss which has hit the shelves.  2021 Donruss was horrible and this is a much better design.  We'll kick it off with one of the best receivers in the league.
I do like this year's design.  It makes sense to me and is appealing to look at.  I do think more than one insert per pack would help with variety but Donruss is a meaty set at 300 base cards so set builders may appreciate less inserts.
Drake Jackson had the best season amongst this lot of youngsters.  He had three sacks across 15 games for the 49ers.
The backs are fine.  Duplicate photo is lazy but plenty of color and we see the logo again.
Love the retired greats in this set.  That Press Proof blue parallel works well with the old school Rams unis.  No complaints with either of these greats.
Good pack of cards.  I was happy with my first look at 2022 Design.  Some favorite players and the design were winners for me. Good luck to your teams tonight.

30 – Total Cards
5 – Retired Greats
4 – Rated Rookie
4 – Press Proof Blue Parallels
1 – Dominators

Thursday, April 27, 2023

2022 Contenders Football

2022 Contenders Football:  The draft and dreams start tonight with the 2023 NFL Draft.  We all have hope these guys can take our teams to another level.  We'll kick this off with the reigning quarterback championship and Texas Tech alum, Patrick Mahomes.  Really feels like he's been in the league more than six years.
I like Contenders but I'm in the minority.  It's so hard when you lock yourself into a certain way of doing things and then having to figure out how to keep things fresh.  This year shows how it can feel much like past years.  I'm okay with this look but I'm starting to tire some with the lack of creativity.
These Supernatural and Power Players are a nice change of pace.  Lots of color and nice designs.  Pierce rushed for over 900 yards for the Texans for a nice start to his career.
I like the backs overall.  These are from three different cards with the Mahomes being a base card while Brady is a Legendary insert and the McCaffrey is a MVP Contender.
MVP Contenders good looking cards.
I like this Game Day Ticket insert.  It showcases a retired great, shows off a fun "ticket" design and is a Super Bowl game photo.
Even if this isn't my favorite Contenders design, it was a fun pack of cards.  The inserts are fun and the pull is solid.  Good luck to your teams tonight.

22 – Total Cards
5 – Green Parallel
3 – Rookie of the Year
2 - MVP
2 – Power Players
1 – Legendary
1 - Supernatural
1 – Retired Great
1 – Game Day Ticket

Sunday, April 23, 2023

1991 Upper Deck Football (3 Packs)

91 UD Football:  This is the week for teams and fans alike to have renewed hope that their draft picks will help turn their franchise around or put them over the top.  We'll kick it off with a former #1 overall pick and all-time favorite of mine, John Elway.  Elway really did turn around the Denver Broncos and took them to five Super Bowls, winning two of those.  Truly an all-time great he was so much fun to watch.  Well, not so much when he dismantled the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
This set is up there as one of the best ever.  The design is simple but something we hadn't seen before in quality and cards.  That logo in the football is a great look.  The team colors in the borders are just right.  Love this set.  You have to enjoy the photo on that Bob Golic photo. 
Team MVP inserts give us another look at stars from the teams.  All three of these guys were huge for their teams.  Anderson and Byner each won Super Bowls with their respective teams while Henry Ellard, a 2X All-Pro was amazing catching the ball and looks great in that old Rams uni.
You have to love the checklist cards that Upper Deck put out back in the day.  The art was always fun.  The Magik Man had one amazing season with Green Bay but couldn't duplicate that success in subsequent seasons.
The backs were good with a different photo and enough stats to wet your appetite.
Another checklist with great art and great player.  A Thurman Thomas hologram and one of the Montana cards from his insert set.
I like how Upper Deck didn't mind going horizontal on some cards.
Really fun cards and I look forward to showing off more of these.  I purchased a box in March so I have plenty to post.  Troy and the Cowboys weren't juggernauts yet but it wouldn't be long.

36 – Total Cards
4 – Team MVP
2 – Team Checklist
1 – Star Rookie
1 – Football Heroes
1 – Game Breaker Hologram

Friday, April 21, 2023

Kayou Hero Battle Series 1 Legend Booster (3 Packs)

Kayou:  Was excited to get these cards.  Not enough Marvel product around right now and these hit the spot.  These are licensed cards from a collectible card game made in China.  The checklist can be found here.  Information is hard to find so it's not so easy to get up to speed without help.  Thanks to Colby over at Cardboard Collections for introducing me to these cards.  This Kayou Facebook group has been helpful in seeing the different cards as well as resources.
This photos are based off the characters from the Avengers movies.  As you can see there are different styles in cards.  I like all three of these.  The headshots have a cool look to them while Iron Man makes it look even better.  The straight up pose like Black Widow is nice and then there are the more stylized cards like this Hulk.
Yep we got a fat Thor.  I'm not a fan of the character in the movie but I like this card.  Always like Rhodey as War Machine so I was happy with that pull.  The cards themselves have a playing card feel (thin) to them as well as rounded corners.
Some cards are rarer than others and are easily denoted by the letters just below the photo on the left.  These are "R", the most common as seen on Thor and Iron Man,  The other is an SGR which is about middle of the road.  In order they go R, SR, SSR, HR, SGR, LR, UR, MR, and CR in that order from most common to the most rare.  The checklists give a pretty good breakdown of what you should find in each box and it was exact with mine.  I really do appreciate these being labeled as they are.

My only complaint so far?  No Falcon!  My favorite Marvel character.  Really surprised we don't see him in this set.  Bummer. Otherwise these are really fun.  My grandsons were really excited as was I.  The price point was good as well so no complaints.

18 – Total Cards (3 Packs)
6 – SR
2 – SSR
1 – SGR

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Random Wax: 2021 Contenders Football

2021 Contenders: Josh Allen and the Bills are wondering what they need to get over the playoff hump after another disappointing end to their season.  Still when you have a quarterback like Josh Allen you can't complain.  He'll keep you in most games with that big arm.  Hopefully they can find a running game this season to compliment his arm and legs.
Derrick Henry had a great season rushing for 1538 yards in 16 games.  Christian McCaffrey found a new home with the 49ers where he flourished.  Zeke is still looking for a new team after being released by the Cowboys.
Trevor Lawrence has solidified himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the league while Aaron Donald is still one of the most feared linemen going.  I like Keenan Allen and he should continue to star as long as Justin Herbert is throwing to him.
Not a big fan of these Round X Numbers inserts.  Just a bit bland.  Wish they could have found another way to showcase the young draftees.
All four of these guys are looking for bounce back years for various reasons.  No reason to think they all won't do better but it's always fun to see how it plays out.

22 – Total Cards
1 – Chain Movers
1 – Power Players
1 – Round Numbers
1 – Rookie of the Year Contender

Friday, April 14, 2023

1987 Donruss Baseball

1987 Donruss:  We'll kick off this Friday with one of Barry Bonds' first cards.  It's a solid looking card from Donruss.  Bonds only batted .231 in 1986 but did hit 16 home runs in his rookie season.
Willie Hernandez had an amazing season in 1984 and helped Detroit win the World Series that year (1.92 ERA over 140 innings as a closer).  Tony Fernandez and Steve Bedrosian also had good careers and won World Series rings as well.
Hernandez finished 68 games in 1984.
Love the Diamond Kings cards from this era.  You can see the centering issues that plagued cards from this timeframe as well.
Some solid players from the 80s here.  We'll cap it off with Roger Clemens ironically as he and Bonds were as much known for steroid use as they are for their dominating careers.  

15 – Total Cards
2 – Diamond Kings
1 – Puzzle Card

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Random Wax: 2020-2021 Hoops Basketball

20-21 Hoops:  Play in games start today so let's get some basketball in.  Two years later and I'm just getting this pack on here.  We'll kick it off with my favorite player in the game today, Kawhi.  He's really looking good after a slow start upon returning from injury.  Between injuries to him and Paul George it's hard to get a good gauge on the Clippers but I do think they can make some noise if they are both healthy.
A couple of inserts here that I like. The Lakers made a late charge in the season to make the playoffs while the Mavericks decided to tank the last weekend in hopes of a good draft pick.  
Nice alternate uni for Draymond.  Kyle Lowry was traded to the Heat but his time in Miami hasn't been that memorable while Lonzo Ball has dealt with injuries since going to the Bulls playing only 35 games in two seasons.
A really nice Teal Explosion parallel of Jayson Tatum.  He and the Celtics go into the playoffs as the #2 seed and have as good a shot as any team in the Eastern Conference.
Brandon Ingram really flies under the radar in New Orleans but is a big reason the Pelicans are as good as they are.  Looking forward to the playoffs - not play in games which are total nonsense to me even if the Hawks are in them.  Speaking of they'll play the Heat in Miami tonight in the first play in game.  Great photo of Jimmy Bulter by the way.

30 – Total Cards
6 – RC
1 – Vanity Plates
1 – Teal Explosion
1 – Frequent Flyers
1 – Lights Camera Action